Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Not Writing the Math Down

My older son is finally seeing negative consequences from refusing to do math work out in writing rather than just doing it in his head. He also has suffered from not taking notes while listening/watching math lectures on his Thinkwell math.

Last year I pushed and pushed my son to take notes in math and he started doing it but then quit. I ran out of energy and gave up. Then my son was getting good grades in Algebra I so I decided to let him do what he wants. If it works for him to not take notes, fine.

This year as he works at Algebra II he has no notes to look back on. Also the quick review of algebra rules is not being written down and he does not have them memorized. He sees the negative consequence but does not want to admit that it would be solved if he took notes.

My son likes to do math in his head. He is receiving points off of homework for math work done for chemistry because he is not showing his work. Despite that negative consequence he still is not doing as the teacher or I instruct.

This is the thing about teenagers, many or most of them. They see something plainly logical and when the consequence doesn't match up to what they want they choose to claim to not see the logic and to hold firm that their way is the right way. My son is so stubborn. It is maddening to see that harm comes his way either in frustration at trying to learn something or by receiving a lower grade for class work.

The more complicated math gets the more one should take notes and look back on them to see the rules or to see one's own examples of how one solved that type of equation. My son is hearing none of this though. Right now all he cares about is what he wants versus what Mom recommends and he wants to be independent and to make his own decisions so anything I say he automatically thinks is wrong, false, or a bad or stupid idea.

I never knew what to expect with parenting a teenager but now that I see some of it I can say this is the hardest and most frustrating and least fulfilling part of the parenting journey I have had thus far.

Update May 2013: My son has been officially diagnosed with dysgraphia and it is being blamed as the cause for avoiding handwriting of any kind.


Stephanie said...

I am so with you on this one and my oldest is only 9. In the face of evidence that contradicts his claims, he will not admit to being wrong. And I can only imagine how this trait will be magnified as he grows into his hormonal teens years. Ugh.

Ultimately, what I need to do is find a way to guide him to the right logical conclusion without having to tell him so that he feels like he's made the decision on his own. Of course, the problem is that sounds way easier than it is.

Cori said...

"Mom is an idiot. Pass the biscuits."

What I am hearing all day long is, "I'm not a two year old. I know what I am doing." It's become a source of uncontrollable laughter now.